Des Moines Union Railway Bridge / Safdie Rabines Architects

© Max Kun Zhang

Safdie Rabines Architects‘ restoration and rehabilitation of this original 1800’s railway bridge provides a new scenic bicycle and pedestrian link over the River. The Union Railway Bridge anchors the south end of the ’ Principal Riverwalk, which connects the east and west sides of downtown through a series of lighted and landscaped walking paths and bridges.

Further description and drawings after the break.

Architect: Safdie Rabines Architects
Location: Des Moines, Iowa,
Civil/Structural/Electrical Engineer: Stanley Consultants
Lighting: RDG Planning & Design
Landscape: Wallace Roberts & Todd
Project Area: 385 ft span
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Max Kun Zhang


The Riverwalk’s design ties together numerous amenities that line the river’s banks, creating one cohesive riverfront experience. Glass guardrails and indirect lighting minimize visual additions to the bridge in order to preserve the beauty and integrity of the original structure. A new cantilever at the center of the bridge allows travelers to stop and enjoy the views midstream and partake in the age old Des Moines custom of fishing.


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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Des Moines Union Railway Bridge / Safdie Rabines Architects" 26 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>